Out Of The Blue
Limelight Falls On Joseph, Zheng Wen & Gary
Photo by Matt King/Getty Images for SSC
By Jeannette Xavier in Singapore & Kelly Ng
Few things beat that “out of the blue” feeling. It comes when you triumph while all eyes are on someone else. Like what swimmers Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen as well as sprinter Gary Yeo experienced at the SEA Games competition here in Indonesia.
In the Jakabaring Aquatics Centre, all the attention in the Singapore camp was on Asian champion Tao Li. For Joseph, the men’s 50m fly was hardly his event. More a 100m fly and 200m fly specialist, he was just hoping to perhaps get a medal to gear him up for the longer races later this week. Plus he was up against the overwhelming favourite and local star Glenn Sutanto. Once the race started, it did look like the hosts will have plenty to cheer about – until the last 5m. That was when Joseph upped his tempo to win in a time of 24.06s, a new national mark.
Quah Zheng Wen
Zheng Wen’s out of the blue triumph was decidedly less dramatic. He completely dominated the men’s 400m individual medley, leading from start to finish. In the process, he won his gold – and set a new national record of 4:24.33. Given that the youngster is only 14, this gold surely must rank as one of the big pleasant surprises for Team Singapore.
Gary knew all the limelight would fall on discus thrower James Wong who won his 10th SEA Games gold with his win in the discus. What he didn’t know was that he too would become news. He may not have finished first but his silver in the men’s 100m was as good as gold. Running in the final at the Jakabaring Athletics Stadium, he kept his cool despite the intense pressure of a sprint event to clock a personal best time of 10.46s. Significantly, he had won Singapore’s first SEA Games medal in the blue riband event in a decade since U.K. Shyam’s silver in Kuala Lumpur.